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'Reaper' recap: 'Greg, Schmeg'

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Reaper_l

Reaper_lHey, Reaper fans, did I miss anything during my vacation?

Yeah, I know, in the previous two episodes, we saw the Devil crush a demon rebellion, leaving only Tony alive among his would-be overthrowers; we saw Sam (Bret Harrison, left) finally tell Andi his big secret (and we saw her, after some understandable initial misgivings, turn out to be surprisingly okay with it); we saw Sock (Tyler Labine, right) reunite with Josie; we saw Ben meet his dream girl, but only after he’d already exchanged vows in a sham green-card marriage to help keep annoying co-worker Sarah from being deported; and we saw Sam reluctantly agree to serve as a spy for Satan inside Tony’s Rebellion 2.0 conspiracy. But aside from all that, did I miss anything big?

All right, after the pyrotechnics of the last two eps, this week’s installment, “Greg, Schmeg” was kind of anticlimactic, no? At least until the end, when Sam did something that might actually shape the direction of his future… but I’m getting ahead of myself. The unwelcome Greg, Andi’s lunk of an ex, returned to the picture and used a mysterious “Jedi mind trick” to make Andi spurn Sam and fall for him again. Turns out his newfound power was part of a foolish bargain with Sam’s boss. But as the Devil tells Sam, when you’re dealing with him, there’s always a catch. In this case, Greg didn’t also receive the power to make Andi stop loving Sam, so she and Greg would never be truly happy together, which means (as Greg noted later), he’d sold his soul for one night of over-the-sweater heavy petting.

Worse, however, was the masked, chainsaw-wielding slasher who stalked Sam and Andi and helped turn Sock’s vintage Cadillac into a convertible. Both the Devil and demon Gladys claimed no knowledge of an escaped soul with that M.O., and as Sam belatedly figured out (about half an hour after most viewers at home did, I suspect), the Leatherface wannabe wasn’t an escaped soul at all, just a projection of Greg’s angry id. Still, it was great to see Gladys again, and I loved the interlude involving her and Dennis, a hippie-ish fellow demon who runs a self-storage warehouse (one whose clients have stashed some 13 dead bodies there) and who builds his own soul-capturing vessels. That toy rocket-launching rifle that will literally blow to hell anything it hits? Way cool.

The Devil wanted to corrupt Sam by forcing him to kill Greg in order to save himself and Andi from Greg’s rage monster, but Sam figured out a way to stop the slasher without hurting anyone: he used his Monopoly-esque “Get Out of Hell Free” card from a few episodes back as a gift to Greg, thus canceling Greg’s deal with the Devil, removing Greg’s powers, suppressing his overactive id, and buying back his soul. Satan seemed surprised and disappointed that Sam didn’t keep the card to buy back his own soul, but that kind of selfless act ought to generate a lot of protective good karma for Sam. (I base this conjecture not on my tenuous grasp of theology, but on the remake of Bedazzled, where Brendan Fraser got out of his deal with Elizabeth Hurley’s Devil via a similarly selfless act.)

Questions: Do you like having Andi be a de facto fourth member of the soul-busting squad? Are we damned to suffer more contrived, Greg-like obstacles to Andi and Sam’s romance? Is Gladys doomed? (Judging by next week’s preview, it doesn’t look good for the DMV demon. Say it ain’t so!) And while it was great to see Ben stand up to Sarah and defend his right to date Cassidy (especially since Sarah herself has a boyfriend on the side — and, as a result, a child on the way), how long do we (and Ben and Cassidy) have to put up with her before Ben can finally kick her to the curb? Oh, yeah, and when do we get to see Tony and the rebel demons again?